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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 05/21/2009

PM Update: Clear Skies and Warmth Persist

By Ian Livingston

Fantastic Friday; Pretty decent holiday weekend

* NatCast | CWG Summer Outlook | MIT Climate Study Attention *

Like recent days, finding a cloud overhead has been a bit of a task today. Temperatures have risen to the lower 80s across much of the area while a light south wind continues streaming more warmth in. Humidity remains low but slowly rising. Evening promises to deliver yet again for those headed outside.

People enjoy midday sunshine in Dupont Circle. Posted to Twitter via iPhone. By CWG photographer Ian Livingston.

Tonight: The slow increase in nighttime temperatures continues as do clear skies. Readings dipping below 70 after sunset will drop to lows in the mid-50s for outlying suburbs while downtown D.C. falls to the low-60s.

Tomorrow (Friday): We crank up the warmth another notch Friday as the holiday weekend exodus begins in earnest. If you like sunny skies, you'll be in luck again. Highs should rise to the mid-80s most spots, with a few upper 80s possible.

See Josh Larson's full forecast through the holiday weekend. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Hurricane Season: As mentioned Tuesday, hurricane season is right around the corner. Today, NOAA released its hurricane outlook, calling for a near-average season. NOAA expects between nine and 14 named storms, with four to seven becoming hurricanes. One factor expected to put a cap on numbers is a developing El NiƱo, also mentioned in our summer outlook. Check out a Washington Post video from the briefing:

By Ian Livingston  | May 21, 2009; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Natcast: No Worries For Nats & O's


Interesting unusual weather: Sue Palka on Fox 5 showed footage of lightning striking the Space Needle in Seattle Tuesday night. She said this "happens all the time" there. So what's the issue???

What's unusual is that, like many locations along the U.S. Pacific Coast, Seattle rarely gets thunderstorms!!! In fact, nearby Port Angeles, Washington on the Puget Sound is the most likely place to move if you want to spend a year without hearing thunder in the continental U.S. The relative lack of thunderstorms in the Pacific Northwest is due to the fact that any maritime tropical air affecting that region is stable whenever it occurs, and temperature contrasts between the land and the Pacific Ocean are generally nonexistent. Hence the abundant rain which falls in Seattle is generally of the non-convective variety; hence thunderstorms occur on fewer than ten days in an average year. However on such rare days as Tuesday, lightning can and does strike the Space Needle.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | May 21, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

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